Imagine this: You're a 14-year-old girl in the 1970s. Your concerns are typical for your age. You care about the latest fashions and you dream about your first kiss with your latest crush, Ray. Then, one day, your world stops spinning. A taciturn neighbor lures you into a makeshift torture chamber, has his way with you, then murders you.
This is what happened to protagonist Susie Salmon who recounts the story of her too brief life from heaven. Yes. From heaven. Quite an unusual venue for a murder mystery, eh?
This book is a murder mystery because as it opens, the killer is still at large. Only Susie knows the truth, that she was brutally raped and murdered by her neighbor, Mr. Harvey. Though heaven has its cushy perks, she isn't able to communicate with her grieving family, something that becomes more increasingly important to Susie.
From Susie's perch in heaven and with the help of counselors she observes life continuing after her death. She witnesses her parents' marriage weakening as her mother withdraws from life and her father obsesses with finding Susie's killer and bringing him to justice. Susie is dismayed watching her little brother Buckley who is desperately trying to understand the meaning of the word 'gone' and she is impressed by her sister Lindsey who performs remarkable act of courage.
I like the book and respect the author's style. Imaginative and unique. The author does an excellent job making the reader feel the pain and loss in this family, made me keep turning the pages. pringgadhani # 2:45 PM
It starts off rather defensively, stating facts and figures against an apparent social/ political conspiracy (although the author claims there not being one), and of some sort of social contract women willingly but unconciously submitted themselves to.
This myth is what she attempts to debunk - that women can feel/ be beautiful without feeling guilty about it; nor do they need to conform to any social perception of beauty.
I found this book rather difficult to swallow - even being a woman myself. It is perhaps that after debunking all these (social) myths - we are presented with no conclusive truth, other than really defensive feminist and biased (if I say so myself) views on equality and of conspiracies.
This book is available for swapping. If you're interested in getting hold of it, please turn up at the Feb 2005 Book Swap Meet, or get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org graceshu # 11:18 AM